MANILA, Philippines – The latest victory of Filipino ring icon Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao has fired up the country’s mixed martial artists, some of whom are set to compete at the ONE FC: Rise of Heroes fight card in May.
Pacquiao last weekend outpointed American boxer Timothy Bradley Jr. to avenge a controversial loss and regain his WBO welterweight belt.
Filipino MMA fighters, in an interview with Yahoo! Sports, expressed their delight at Pacquiao’s victory.
“I am so happy about Manny’s victory,” said Eduard Folayang, who will fight Kotetsu Boku on May 2. “I want to congratulate Manny. He is one of our modern day heroes, and I pray we too will be able to put the Philippines in the global map in the field of MMA.”
Jujeath Nagaowa, who will be making her MMA debut, said Pacquiao’s win was a source of pride for all Filipinos all over the world.
Both Folayang and Nagaowa say they have been fired up by Pacquiao’s win ahead of their own battles.
“It adds up to my motivation as a Pinoy fighter, because our entire country was uplifted with his win,” said Nagaowa.
“Manny is a great influence and encouragement, and that’s why his win contributes as inspiration to us Filipinos,” said Folayang.
“I think it is a big motivation that gives us the pressure to prepare really well for our upcoming fight, and his victory motivates me personally, because I know that I can win, too,” he added.
Folayang is coming off a unanimous decision victory against Vincent Latoel in his last ONE FC fight last December 2013.